500 Word Reaction – to Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Oh yes. This was a much better film than The Force Awakens. It managed to retain themes from the OT while never quite going in a way you expected. I’m not going to give any spoilers (except maybe in a very vague way) but this was a much more satisfying film altogether. Although I enjoyed TFA, I felt that it was very much a re-tred of things that had already been done before. I also felt that it was so painfully black and white that I couldn’t really believe in any of the characters.

Finn and Rey, in particular, seemed too undamaged by the places in which they had grown up. It was hard for me to believe that a girl who grew up all but feral and a boy who grew up as a child soldier would turn out to be the impeccable moral paragons they seemed to be in that film.

TLJ corrected that, and we got to see some of the doubt and darkness in Rey, which made her good heart just stand out all the more. And Finn’s journey from ‘fugitive from the First Order’ to ‘actual Resistance hero’ was given space in this film to unfold a bit more naturally as he gets to see more of life outside the stormtrooper barracks.

I might be alone in this, but I loved what they did with Luke, allowing him to have humanity and doubts, and to have grown old and regretful. Why not? He might be a legend but he’s also a person. And then that ending, with its combination of badassery and peace? I think Obi-Wan would have been proud.

I loved Rose! I hope she gets to be a major player in the next movie too.

I thought the interaction between Kylo and Rey was very interesting, and there was even a point where I was willing to like Kylo more, about half way through. But it went away again later. I still hope they won’t go down the direction of having Kylo and Rey balance the light and dark sides of the force by ending up in some kind of literal marriage. That would be hokey. But I was glad to see less evidence of that in this film than I feared.

I had the impression from all the background material that we were going to see more of Phasma. She still hasn’t been given the airtime that she deserves. But it was nice to see more of Hux. That poor man! He is having a very bad day.

There is a scene with Leia that will haunt me for some time. If this is her last movie, I think it’s a great scene to go out on; powerful, beautiful and awe inspiring.

I think I only have one real complaint. That is that it’s disappointing that the movie canon’s first on screen LGBT character sacrifices herself to save them all. How many times have I seen that gambit used before? Too many.

 

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